A new DIY test for group B Strep is now available to pregnant women in the UK, following a partnership between charity Group B Strep Support and health care company HiberGene Diagnostics.
The test will enable pregnant women to test for group B Strep which is the most common life-threatening infection in babies.
According to the charity Group B Strep Support, 1 in 4 are unknowingly carriers of group B Strep bacteria which can cause meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia.
1 baby a week dies from group B Strep infection.
HiberGene Diagnostics’ test is called Strepelle which uses the international gold standard ECM method of detecting group B Strep bacteria.
In the UK, routine group B Strep tests are unavailable through the NHS.
Chief Executive of Group B Strep Support, Jane Plumb MBE, said: “Pregnant women are rarely offered testing in the NHS, and if they are, a ‘gold-standard’ test like Strepelle is seldom available. With their help, and their test, we are confident that more babies will be protected from preventable group B Strep infection.”
Strepelle is a home-to-the-laboratory test recommended from 35 weeks gestation. Once the test is received by the laboratory, the results will be sent via text message within three working days.
Chairman and CEO of Hibergene Diagnostics, Brendan Farrell, said: “Commercial tests like Strepelle enable women to find out whether they carry group B Strep in pregnancy so they can make informed choices about what is best for them and their baby.
“Identifying pregnant women likely to be carrying group B Strep and giving them IV penicillin during labour and reduce group B Strep infection in new born babies by over 80%.”
The test is £39.99 and can be purchased from selected independent pharmacies or online from the Strepelle website.
Keep up to date with the latest research and news from MIDIRS by subscribing to our quarterly academic journal. Subscribe to MIDIRS Midwifery Digest